Roman Missal[1]

 

I. Introduction

During formal liturgical services, the individualism of spontaneity and the strength of uniformity meet.  For Roman Catholics using the illiterate 2011 Missal, there is no strength in uniformity.  The prayers are mostly gibberish and nonsense, going on ad nauseam.  Father William J. O’Malley, S.J. wrote an article about this, “Poorly worded:  Can we have a Mass that speaks to real people?”

“S.J.” means O’Malley belongs to the Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits.  Jesuit started as a term of derision (1544-52) for using the name Jesus too frequently.  The Jesuits eventually accepted the name in its most positive sense.[2]  Catholics sometimes shorten Jesuits to Jebbies.  In the United States, the Jesuits are the brains of the Church, running many colleges and universities.  Worldwide, however, the Dominicans (another religious order) may be more recognized.  I am a proud 1952 graduate of Saint Ignatius (Jesuit) High School in Cleveland, Ohio.

The problem arises between the needs of the Faithful to understand what they are praying and the needs of following rules.  With the new Missal, O’Malley finds himself in a quandary.  For example, O’Malley suggests, “in the Eucharistic prayers, where we pray `for our pope and our bishop and all the clergy,’ might we also pray for the poor, the lonely, the sexually confused, those who feel like losers, and those who crave some dignity, all of whom we should warmly welcome?”  I have all of this in mind, as I rewrite our prayers.[3]

“StrWif” reacted to the O’Malley article, “I don’t think that questioning, or being asked to offer ideas, in regard to our common prayer is in any way an attack against the Church.  We are the Church and some are responsible for the building up of the Body; not questioning may be a sign that we are dead.”  These Personal Notes aims to be quite alive.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 the Reverend Francis X. Clooney, S.J., director of the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School described the role of priests for Salvation in the Roman Catholic Church, as distinct from other large U.S. Christian Churches.  “Priests [but not women and others] through the Mass and the sacraments, make clear the community’s real and present link to God.”[4]  The illiterate 2011 Missal challenges that calling.

 

II. Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture (Collect)

 

A. Missal:      Grant, almighty God, that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion these days of joy, which we keep in honor of the risen Lord, and that what we relive in remembrance we may always hold to in what we do.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever [sic] and ever.

 

B. Italian Latin:  Fac nos, omnípotens Deus, hos laetítiae dies, quos in honórem Dómini resurgéntis exséquimur, afféctu sédulo celebráre, ut quod recordatióne percúrrimus semper in ópere teneámus.  Per Dóminum.

 

C. Revised:   Almighty God, give us hearts rejoicing for your resurrected life.  Enable us to have a felt sense of the fact that we too shall one-day rise from the dead to live forever with you without end.  We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.

D. Comment:  Except for the following, the Appendix explains material in bold print.  That we may celebrate . . .  and that what we relive . . . uses a coordinating conjunction to join unlike parts of speech, the verbs, may celebrate and the relative phrase, what we relive . . .  The Little, Brown Handbook shows considerable consternation in a “Using Parallelism” section.

 

The principle underlying parallelism is that form should reflect meaning:  since the parts of compound constructions have the same function and importance, they should have the same grammatical form . . . The coordinating conjunctions and [the case here], but, or, nor, and yet always signal a need for parallelism . . . If sentence elements linked by coordinating conjunctions are not parallel in structure, the resulting sentence will be awkward and distracting . . . Be sure that clauses beginning who or which are coordinated only with other who or which clauses, even when the pronoun is not repeated . . . [In this case the pronoun is what.][5]  

 

III. Prayer after Communion

 

A. Missal:      Almighty ever-living God, who restore us to eternal life in the Resurrection of Christ, increase in us, we pray, the fruits of this paschal Sacrament and pour into our hearts the strength of this saving food.  Through Christ our Lord.

 

B. Italian Latin:  Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui ad aetérnam vitam in Christi resurrectióne nos réparas, fructum in nobis paschális multíplica sacraménti, et fortitúdinem cibi salutáris nostris infúnde pectóribus.  Per Christum.

 

C. Revised:   God, you are alive in every cell of our bodies and every segment of our souls.  You are restoring us, your Faithful people, to eternal life, resurrected with Jesus.  Let the Eucharist we have just received nourish our Faith and our commitments to your holy glory.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer.

For the Solemn Blessing go to the Fifth Sunday of Easter.

 

 

V. ICEL

 

Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture (Collect)

ICEL:            Almighty God, enable us to celebrate with fitting joy these days of happiness, that as we accompany the risen Lord in faith we may express in our daily lives the joyful memory of Easter.

 

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever [sic] and ever.

 

Prayer after Communion

ICEL:            All-powerful and ever-living God, in the resurrection of Christ you restore us to eternal life.  Increase within us the effects of this Easter mystery and pour out in our hearts the strength of this saving food.

 

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

 


With the new Missal, the Roman Catholic Church is showing for what and how to pray.  According to standard American English, the prayers are so difficult to understand that I refer to the “illiterate 2011 Missal.”  The revised prayers are my paraphrase of the Bible-babble in the Missal into standard American English as heard, for example, on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), the Weather Channel, and the evening news.

 

n.a., The Roman Missal:  Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II:  English Translation According to the Third Typical Edition:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (Washington, DC, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011) 425.

 

Collect is the technical term for Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture.

 

Misuse of interjections, such as we pray, contributes to the conglomeration of meaninglessness.  The Little, Brown Handbook gives some examples, hey, oh, darn, wow.  An interjection is “a word standing by itself or inserted in a construction to exclaim or command attention.”  A forceful interjection is set off with an exclamation point, a mild interjection with a comma.  The Missal only uses mild interjections and that is a cause of discombobulating.[6] 

 

Might versus may in the Missal:  might connotes ability, wish, or desire;[7] may connotes permission.  According to the Dictionary, may is used in auxiliary function to express a wish or desire especially in prayer, imprecation, or benediction <may he reign in health> <may they all be damned> <may the best man win>.  I think might sounds better, because interrupted by the subordinate clause, which we keep in honor of the risen Lord.  The Little, Brown Handbook explains, “the helping verbs of standard American English may be problematic if you are used to speaking another language or dialect.”[8]

 

The Latin does not capitalize resurrectióne and sacraménti, but the Missal does capitalize Resurrection and Sacrament.  Since the Faithful will not hear the difference between an upper and lower case word, there is no reason to stray from the Latin, except, perhaps, to show the arrogance of the translator in the face of anyone objecting to the illiterate 2011 Missal.

 

The Missal translates the Latin Missale into English.  I name the Missale Italian Latin, because of the accent marks, which do not appear elsewhere.  Pagina 417 at http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/ex2.htm#b1l  The Holy See, Congregation for the Clergy runs this website.  (accessed February 5, 2012).

 

The first sentence of the Collect contains forty-one words, in a graduate school 16.2 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability indicates the number of formal school years it takes to understand the material.  It is a fused sentence.  See Chapter 18, “Comma Splices, Fused Sentences,” H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 339-444.  The first sentence of the revised Collect has a 7.6 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.

 

The first sentence of this Prayer after Communion contains thirty-eight words, in a graduate school 16.6 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  It is a fused sentence.  The revised Prayer after Communion has a 7.3 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.

 

The respective ICEL Collect and Prayer after Communion have 13.5 and 7.5 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readabilities. 

 

Jesus Christ is in apposition to our Lord and in English should be set off with commas.  The Little, Brown Handbook has a "using appositives” subsection.

 

An appositive is usually a noun that renames another noun nearby [in this case Jesus Christ], most often the noun just before the appositive.  (the word appositive derives from a Latin word that means “placed near to” or “applied to.”)  An appositive phrase includes modifiers as well . . . .  All appositives can replace the words they refer to:  [our Lord/Jesus Christ]  . . . Appositives are economical alternatives to adjective clauses containing a form of be . . . [our Lord [who is] Jesus Christ. . . ] you can usually connect the appositive to the main clause containing the word referred to . . . An appositive is not setoff with punctuation when it is essential to the meaning of the word it refers to [in the United States of America, which has no secular lords, our Lord is not essential to Jesus Christ] . . .  When an appositive is not essential to the meaning of the word it refers to, it is set off with punctuation, usually a comma or commas [as is the case here, our Lord, Jesus Christ,] . . .

 

H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 254-255. 

 

Comma Use (from the Explain part of my Spelling and Grammar checker in Word 2011)

If you are using a conjunction to connect only two items, it is incorrect to use a comma before the conjunction.  In addition, if you are using a conjunction to add a phrase that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence, it is incorrect to use a comma before the conjunction.

God, who restore us . . ., lacking noun/verb agreement in number, is a form of so-called “Black English.”  H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 302.

 

Through . . . is a sentence fragment the Missal uses throughout the book.  The Little, Brown Handbook explains,

 

A prepositional phrase is a modifier consisting of a proposition (such as in, on, to, or with [including through]) together with its object and any modifiers (see pp. 242-43).  A prepositional phrase cannot stand alone as a complete sentence . . .

 

At the end of the prayer, the unity is confusing.  A dictionary definition for the word the:  “1 c:-- used as a function word to indicate that a following noun or noun equivalent refers to someone or something that is unique or is thought of as unique or exists as only one at a time <the Lord><the Messiah> . . . .”[1]  Unity is a noun meaning “1a:  the quality of stage of being or consisting of one.”[1]  Does the unity mean that the Holy Spirit belongs to a union, like a labor union?  Does unity in the Collect mean that the Holy Spirit, unlike Jesus, has only one nature, Divine?  Does unity mean the trinitarian unity?  In the same vein, does unity mean that it is the Holy Spirit, which is the relationship between the Father and Son, thereby causing a triune unity?  The last is how the revision would resolve the matter, substituting Divine Trinitarian nature for unity.  Because the Faithful have not challenged the unity since Vatican II, the now traditional silly phraseology remains.

 

See Part 4, “Clear Sentences,” Chapter 17 c, “Sentence Fragments:  Verbal or prepositional phrase,” H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 335.  http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=the&x=0&y=0  (accessed December 4, 2011).  http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=unity&x=0&y=0  (assessed December 4, 2011).

 

Whether to include or exclude the 1998 International Commission on English in the Liturgy:  A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (ICEL) translation is difficult.  The reason to include ICEL is:  this is the best the American bishops could do, before the Vatican rejected the translation.  The ICEL translation also deals with some of the vocabulary and grammatical problems with which the revisions deal.  The reason to exclude ICEL is:  the ICEL translation is not significantly better than the Missal.

 

For the Collect and Prayer after Communion see, International Commission on English in the Liturgy:  A Joint Commission of Catholics Bishops’ Conferences (ICEL), The Sacramentary:  Volume One—Sundays and Feasts (Washington, D.C.:  International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 1998), pages 394-395 (412/604) , downloaded from https://rs895dt.rapidshare.com/#!download|895l35|387089704|ICEL_Sacramentary__1998_.zip|6767|R~00A3D4012C6FE19956DB84F71E5405F6|0|0 at http://misguidedmissal.com/wp/?page_id=23 (accessed December 8, 2011).

 

Rationale

Clarity is not a prerequisite for prayer.  The search for clarity can be a means to prayer.  As part of catechesis, these Personal Notes set up what the Church needs to explain to enable the Faithful to pray with faith seeking understanding, as Saint Anslem of Canterbury (1033-1109) puts it.[9] 

In an attempt to use the prayers the anti-Vatican-II, current Papacy, is now setting forth, these Personal Notes have taken on a new focus.  This new focus began November 27, 2011, the First Sunday in Advent.  From the First Sunday in Advent until just before the First Sunday of Lent, February 26, 2012, these Notes had a double focus, including both the Lectionary and the Missal.  After that, the focus will remain on the Missal until the end of the liturgical year, December 1, 2012.


Almighty God, give us hearts rejoicing for your resurrected life.  Enable us to have a felt sense of the fact that we too shall one-day rise from the dead to live forever with you without end.  We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.

 

God, you are alive in every cell of our bodies and every segment of our souls.  You are restoring us, your Faithful people, to eternal life, resurrected with Jesus.  Let the Eucharist we have just received nourish our Faith and our commitments to your holy glory.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer.

 



[1] For regular readers of these Personal Notes, the documentation is very repetitive.  For that reason, there is an Appendix, between the end of Personal Notes and the repeated Prayers.  New readers should include that Appendix as they read.  Regular readers should look in the Appendix to refresh their memories. 

 

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Jesus  (accessed February 5, 2012).

 

[3] Father William J. O’Malley, S.J., “Poorly worded:  Can we have a Mass that speaks to real people,”  U.S. Catholic, Tuesday, December 13, 2011 as found at http://www.uscatholic.org/church/2011/10/poorly-worded  (accessed February 5, 2012).  The comment justifying questioning is on page 14/28 of my February 3 printout.

[4] The Reverend Francis X. Clooney, from the “Key differences among some larger U.S. Christian denominations” chart reported by Cathy Lynn Grossman, “Cover Story:  Few informed, many wary of Mormon beliefs,” USA Today, Wednesday, January 25, 2012, page 2 A, column 2.5/4, just below the fold.

 

[5] H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 399-400.

 

[6] H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 233, 431, 893.

 

[7] http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=might&x=15&y=10  (accessed January 29, 2011).

 

[8] H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 274.

 

[9] http://www.google.com/search?q=faith+seeking+understanding&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a  (accessed November 28, 2011) and http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/anselm/ (accessed November 28, 2011).